Hillcrest High: Josh Long, Theater

In his six years at Hillcrest High, Josh Long has turned the theater department into an award-winning powerhouse. His Shakespeare Team has taken first place in the National Shakespeare competition for five years in a row, his production of "Aida" won numerous awards, including Best Musical in the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater’s High School Theater Awards, and, each year, several of his students are awarded performing arts scholarships. Long leaves no one out: every student who auditions is given a role in a Hillcrest production. That attitude is just part of the way he inspires students. Long goes the extra mile and gives each student feedback after every rehearsal and performance. Knowing that male students are less likely to participate in the performing arts, Long specifically recruits young men. He has turned the theater into a "desirable identity" for male students, said one parent. His students wear bracelets that say "Give: It's not about you" and the theme for his department is "Change a Life.”